More and more coorporate America is looking to invest in communities. The headline post reads, "Invest in Communities to Advance Capitalism". Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz writes in a blog post for the Harvard Business Review.
"As corporate citizens of the world, it is our responsibility - our duty - to serve the communities where we do business by helping to improve, for example, the quality of citizens' education, employment, health care, safety, and overall daily life, plus future prospects," ...Simply writing checks for charity projects doesn't cut it. "We must go deeper," he says."
While on the face of things, money invested back into communites can be a helpful thing, I can't help but wonder -- where is the church in all this? Are we abdicating our responsibility as Catholic Chrisitians to love our neighbor and to serve as Christ did?
In the same way, we are called by Christ to invest in our own local communties. Not just whoever happens to come to our events, but to reach out and serve the wider community in which we live in significant and meaningful ways.
St. Theresa's Parish in Tuckerton is parish that is a great example of thinking about new ways to reach out. It's the largest food pantry in the area and has partnered with local food stores to help distribute food to those who in need. Concerned about the lack of young families in church, Fr. Mick Lambeth began inviting a core group of young families to get together and begin to talk about outreach strategies. The group is called "B3 - Bringing Faith, Friends and Family Back", and is now planning strategies and events to connect with those not in church on Sunday.
So where does your church community stand in all this? In what ways are you already being salt and light in your community ? In what ways can you improve the lives of others in your local community to serve-- not in the name of not capitalism--but in the name of Jesus Christ?